Monday, July 23, 2012

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology Increases Efficiency

As inventory control technologies continue to evolve, opportunities for distribution and manufacturing companies to streamline warehouse and shipping operations increase.

The evolution of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology comprises a prime example.  RFID is a method used to identify, store and remotely retrieve data using RFID tagging devices.  These RFID tags, which can be attached to materials or merchandise and then scanned, transmit information via radio waves to a database.  The RFID tag may contain information such as product type, quantity or suggested retail price.

Mike Moser, Director of IT for Haier, summarized the problem, “To implement the technology successfully, yet remain cost effective, we needed a software solution that we could integrate seamlessly and securely with our existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) package.”

The knowledge that VAI could design a secure and seamless RFID solution to work as a part of our ERP package—and not function as a mere add-on—was perceived as a tremendous benefit.  The fact that VAI’s ultimate solution had broad applicability, beyond Wal-Mart’s requirements, put us way ahead of the curve in anticipating future demands for RFID tags.”

Since its implementation in January 2007, the completely integrated system has provided increased coordination and a higher level of efficiency between Haier’s distribution operations and Wal-Mart’s warehousing facilities.  Haier is now equipped to handle Wal-Mart’s mandated RFID system as well as the anticipated future requirements of other big-box retailers.  Aside from minor visual changes to Haier’s shipping labels, VAI’s solution has made this changeover a seamless, simple process.

The title of this posting should be “Partnership Makes the Solution Work”. 

There are many RFID solutions available today, more so than back in 2007.  Five years is a long time in technology circles, but the core notes here transcend current buzz words.

·         One- Haier has a partner and that cares about their success and not just in profits.

·         Two- The partner, VAI, took the time to listen and find the right-size fit solution. 

·         Three- Haier did not just implement a slap-on solution.  Their solution lays the foundation to future growth.

·         Four- Increased efficiency. 

Because of their size Walmart is able to trend industry objectives to greater efficiency.  For some organizations the changes can be painful.  The changes never seem to be timed right or easy to implement.  But that is just the point.  Whether you like Walmart or not, they are streamlining an entire industry.  What lessons can be learned by their initiatives? 

A lot of operations would be inefficient when done one at a time. 

How costly would a piece of plywood be if you only made one?  When you scale up to make thousands, the costs are distributed over a greater number of products and what was not feasible becomes possible.

VAI has helped Haier take a step forward in compliance and hence has made their own operations more efficient.

More efficiency generally reduces costs and leads to increased profits.  Dolvin Consulting helps Manufacturers, Distributors and Specialty Retailers streamline their operations so they remain competitive.  Contact us today to see how we can help you achieve your goals.

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